Last Updated: 2018-08-20
The previous season was heartbreaking for the Denver Nuggets and their fans, as they finished ninth in the Western Conference with a 47-36 record (31-10 at home, 15-26 on the road), one win behind the Minnesota Timberwolves and San Antonio Spurs after losing to Timberwolves in the ultimate game of the season. The Nuggets showed some entertaining performance last year, but with the fifth-worst defensive rating in the league (111.1), they couldn’t make it to the post-season for the fifth time in a row. Signing Isaiah Thomas this summer surely improved the Nuggets chances, so let’s take a closer look at the latest futures and season props update on BetDSI Sportsbook along with some betting picks and predictions for the 2018-19 NBA season.
Denver Nuggets Futures Odds
Win Total Over/Under at 47.5: Over -110; Under -110
To Win the Northwest Division at +420
To Win the Western Conference at +7700
To Win the NBA Championship at +15000
To Make NBA Playoffs: YES -350, NO +250 (Bet365 Sportsbook)
Denver Nuggets Player Movement
Draft: Michael Porter Jr. (No. 14 Pick), Jarred Vanderbilt (No. 41 Pick), Thomas Welsh (No. 58 Pick)
Added: Isaiah Thomas (free agency, Los Angeles Lakers)
Lost: Kenneth Faried (traded to Brooklyn Nets), Darrel Arthur (traded to Brooklyn Nets), Wilson Chandler (traded to Philadelphia 76ers), Devin Harris (signed with Dallas Mavericks), Isaiah Whitehead (waived)
Unrestricted Free Agent: Richard Jefferson
At the 2018 NBA Draft, the Nuggets selected Michael Porter Jr. with the 14th overall pick, despite the fact that former Missouri freshman played just 53 minutes in his only NCAA season. After undergoing the back surgery, Porter Jr. returned in the post-season to record a double-double in his Tigers’ defeat to Florida State. However, he was considered as one of the top players in the high school class of 2017, so the Nuggets decided to take a gamble on Porter Jr. and give him a chance at the NBA level.
With the 41st overall pick, the Orlando Magic selected another convalescent and sent him immediately to Denver, as Jarred Vanderbilt played just 14 games in between two serious injuries at Kentucky, tallying 5.9 points and 7.9 rebounds in 17.0 minutes per game. Vanderbilt is a powerful wingman, always active on the glass on both ends of the floor, and has a potential to be a top-notch defender. With great length and lateral quickness, he could easily guard multiple positions but will need to get stronger if he wants to stay out of foul problems.
The most significant addition for the Nuggets this summer is undoubtedly the playmaker Isaiah Thomas. The 29-year old two-time All-Star will try to revive his career in Denver after a perished spell with the Cavs and the Lakers, as Isaiah will reunite with his former coach in Sacramento, Mike Malone. If he stays healthy, Thomas should be a great reinforcement for the Nuggets, bringing some experience and clutch shooting to the young core. The King in the Fourth played in just 32 games last season, averaging 15.2 points and 4.8 assists, while in the 2016-17 season with the Boston Celtics, he had 28.9 points and 5.9 assists per game.
On the other side, the Denver Nuggets finally got rid of Kenneth Faried and his hefty contract, sending Manimal to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Isaiah Whitehead who’s been waived instantly. Faried was not a factor in Nuggets’ play anymore, recording 5.9 points and 4.8 rebounds per game in 32 appearances last season. The Nuggets also traded forward Wilson Chandler to the Sixers, although he had an important role last year, starting in 71 games and averaging 10.0 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. This move cut down the salaries, whilst the Nuggets wanted more space for Will Barton.
Denver Nuggets 2018-19 Roster
The Nuggets have decided to stick with Nikola Jokic as a franchise big man, and the 23-year old Serb is improving significantly. After a solid rookie season, the 41st overall pick from the 2014 NBA Draft had a strong campaign as a sophomore, recording 16.7 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 4.9 assists in 27.9 minutes per game. Last year, Jokic recorded 18.5 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 6.1 assists in 32.6 minutes per game while shooting 49.9% from the field and 39.6% from beyond the arc. He led the Nuggets in all three main categories (points, rebounds, assists), recording 38 double-doubles and 10 triple-doubles along the way. Jokic is a pure center with incredible playmaking skills and soft touch who’s offensively already at the superstar level but will need to improve his defense to really become a game changer.
Nikola’s coeval Gary Harris is another young lion in this Nuggets team, and last year, the talented shooting guard set his career high in points per game (17.5) on 48.5% shooting from the field and 39.6% from beyond the arc. Harris is an effective player on both sides of the court, as he plays aggressive defense, recording 1.8 steals per game last season, while he’s also a smart shooter who knows to find the way to the basket.
The 20-year old Jamal Murray is a future of the Denver Nuggets and will start at point guard. The 7th overall pick from the 2016 NBA Draft had a breakthrough sophomore campaign, averaging 16.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 3.4 assists while making 45.1% of his field goals. Murray’s is remarkable off catch-and-shoot but will need to improve as a scorer with the ball in his hands. He will certainly have a chance to play some minutes alongside Isaiah Thomas and learn how to do it properly.
After missing 44 games last season due to an injury, Paul Millsap hopes he will stay healthy throughout the 2018-19 season and truly help the Nuggets to make it to the post-season. Millsap’s defensive abilities are invaluable for Denver, as Mike Malone’s team desperately need a tough guy in the paint alongside Nikola Jokic. The four-time All-Star is also a strong factor at the offensive end and should be a key factor for the Nuggets in the upcoming season. Last year, he averaged 14.6 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.0 steals, and 1.2 blocks, doing all little things on both sides of the ball.
Will Barton will start at small forward after playing 81 games last year, averaging 15.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game while hitting 45.2% of his field goals. With Wilson Chandler traded to the Sixers, Barton will get a lot of room to improve his game, while his backup should be the rookie Michael Porter Jr. and the Spaniard Juan Hernangomez. As a frontcourt backup, we should see Mason Plumlee (7.1 points and 5.4 rebounds last year) and Trey Lyles (9.9 points and 4.8 rebounds last year).
Players Under Contract:
Jamal Murray (PG), Isaiah Thomas (PG), Monte Morris (PG)
Gary Harris (SG), Malik Beasley (SG), Will Barton (SG-SF)
Torrey Craig (SF), Juan Hernangomez (SF), Michael Porter Jr. (SF)
Paul Millsap (PF), Trey Lyles (PF), Tyler Lydon (PF), Jarred Vanderbilt (PF)
Nikola Jokic (C), Mason Plumlee (C), Thomas Welsh (C)
Win Total Prediction and Betting Picks
The Bet365 Sportsbook considers the Denver Nuggets as strong favorites to reach the playoffs with the odds at -350, as they expected to see better performance by the Nuggets’ young, talented core. If Mike Malone finds the way to improve the team’s defense, and his players mostly stay healthy during the season, the Nuggets should finally catch the playoff train. On the other hand, it’s hard to tell whether they will win more than 46 games, but I think they will need if they want to make it to the playoffs.
The bettors can expect some high-scoring games so betting on the totals seems like a nice option on the Denver Nuggets who’ll have a difficult task to win the Northwest Division at +420. The Nuggets should improve their game during the season, and the bettors should pay attention to Denver’s displays as the Nuggets could be a pleasant surprise this season.
The Pick: Over 47.5 (-110)
Prediction: Western Conference First Round
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